“Captain the engines will not take much more of this, the crystals are melting”

“Stop acting like an old woman Scotty – they make them good in Scotland”

I left the rain behind in Munich almost as soon as the train left the suburbs the sun came out; the land passing the window was very much rural then came the hops fields acres, and acres of them. And then as we neared our destination the scene changed to those little alpine type bungalows, you see all over the north of Austria.

The first train was like a United Nations congress whole families travelling together and seemed to have everything they owned with them. Strange the ticket collector asked to see the ID of anyone that did not look German, I thought at the time, that’s a bit police state, he is only a ticket collector after all, would he phone ahead to the police if they did not have an ID? Anyway when we pulled into the next station everyone started to get up and leave, the train carriage was totally empty, then cleaners came in and told me the train terminated here, and returned to Munich. that was not fair, my ticket said Munich to Regensburg. I then had to board another train that would not take me to my final destination direct and so change again. In a bit of a panic not to miss my station I got off a station early – the sign was actually telling me that the next station would be my station, not this one.

Then came “sometimes things happen for a reason”

The station I had inadvertently alighted at was Amberg, and with three quarters of an hour to pass I rolled into the square just as the market stalls were shutting up shop and spotted a crowd of people over by the town hall, they were dressed in traditional clothing, what was this all about well this tells all.

Yes, it was a wedding.
The bird and groom
It was hard getting a shot, with all the people coming over to congratulate the couple.
I believe these were the bridesmaids
This is where they married
with the spay of the river I don’t think it was a duck race.

As luck would have it the next train I did get went straight to Regensburg so no need to change. The YH was easy to find in the centre of town and not far from the station. But the reception would not be on until 4 in the afternoon. Still, it was after three now.

I felt I could have easily eaten a scabby horse, so went looking for some food. The Sugar Puffs I left at Munich YH, I may try again another 60 years from now. What I found was a Thai, restaurant, and more a sort of take-a-way so thought, why not.

It was really tasty and filling too, and cost 6 euros. I am here for four days so may give the wee guy a go again.

It’s gid, tell yir ma.

I have not had much of an opportunity to explore but this place is heavenly, so just for a taster.

I have successfully leapt ahead of myself on my DanAmbergube trip, on entering Regensburg, the most northerly place that the river reached on its way to the Black Sea, and one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe, the city that time forgot.

Apart from walking, a bike is possibly the best mode of transport around the city’s tiny alleyways, mostly leading you out into attractive little plazas. I use that word deliberately for this was originally the Roman base for the legions, defending the empire’s northern borders. When the Romans left the town became the capital of Bavaria, (in about 530 AD) and remained so until around the middle part of the 13th century when it became a self-governing state under the Holy Roman Empire. When the map of Europe was redrawn by the Napoleonic Wars, Regensburg lost its independence and once more reverted to becoming part of the Bavarian Kingdom in 1810.

What a difference a bridge makes to a community. In 1146 the Steinerne Brucke (stone bridge) the first bridge to be built over the Danube, opened up a route between Italy in the south and northern Europe, and put Regensburg on the world stage, or at least the European stage.

As the riches flowed north and south the city became a hub for commercial trading, and with the wealth came vanity protection such as St Peter’s cathedral, with its spires soaring skywards over the city. This great Gothic cathedral began life in 1255 and was not completed until 1869; I wonder how many heated debates went on over the rising cost of the cathedral, for when the heads of visionaries and those businessmen collide, the temperature in the meeting will rise too, site meetings can become very vocal at times. In the end, it was the lack of funding that brought its construction to an end. So many churches were being built in the city that Goethe was led to utter ‘Churches built on churches’.

Two of Regensburg’s famous sons were Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), for his work on the orbits of the planets. His house in keplerstrasse 5 is now a museum, and Joseph Ratzinger, who went on to become Pope Benedict XV1, former professor of theology at the University of Regensburg (1969-1977).

The Danube is no longer the quiet meandering stream I left back on the plateau, which seems a lifetime ago now. But a busy, bussing shipping lane, the landscape now flat and my way head will be mostly across flood planes and dikes. But that’s another story.

Keep safe

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